Ontario’s Conservation Authorities 2023 Watershed Report Cards provide a ‘check up’ on the health of many of Ontario’s Watersheds. They track and report on the surface and groundwater quality as well as the conditions of our forests.

The results of this information can be used by Conservation Authorities and other practitioners, all levels of government, industry and environmental agencies to help conserve, restore and protect the natural resources that support us.

Why do we need to monitor nature?

Natural ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and lakes provide us with a wide variety of benefits which, in turn, support us in many different ways. Watershed monitoring data is used for many purposes, such as to identify problems and target actions, to provide input for tools such as models, and to support scientifically-based decision making for preserving or improving these ecosystems.

What Are We Finding?

Conservation authority watershed report cards reflect environmental changes underway in their watersheds. What they are finding today is that our water and land natural resources are stressed and require improvements.

Much like the 2018 watershed report cards, the 2023 report cards revealed lower grades in surface water quality and forest conditions. Groundwater conditions are generally As and Bs. There are some As and Bs generally in watersheds with less urban pressures (especially in the north and east).

Overall, the main message is that our watersheds need more to be done to keep them vibrant and healthy communities we all call home. Resilient watersheds require continued investment to respond to the growing challenges of climate change and urbanization pressures.

We need to go beyond the status quo if we want to keep up with climate change challenges.

If you would like to learn more, Conservation Ontario’s Story Map provides an overview of the results.
Interested in the Report Card for your Conservation Authority? You can download a PDF here.